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SPORTSLINE SUMMER CAMP: Independence Tigers

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, La. (WAFB) - The 9Sports crew took a trip up I-55 for Sportsline Summer Camp to check out the Tigers of Independence and their spring game.

The defense was active and it was hard to ignore big bookend defensive ends Dylan Vernon and Chandler Banks, who are big seniors clogging up the running lanes.

No. 71 and No. 64 are a lot to contend with and when they’re chasing quarterbacks, defensive backs like Gary Zanders and De’Andrew Davis will take advantage.

In the three-way spring game with Springfield and Varnado, Vernon and Banks also teamed with the Burroughs twins, who are just sophomores at guard, alongside center Phillip Wright, to push the pile for running back Fred McDowell.

While there are lots of potential young playmakers at the skill positions, it seems the guys in the trenches will decide what direction the Tigers will take after an 0-6 season in 2020 that started with a couple of single-digit losses and snowballed.

“It’s a powerful line,” said Banks. “When you see them, you’re going to say, ‘Oooohh!’ Make you want to jump up and down.”

“The two twins, they’re big,” added head coach Scott Shaffett. “They’re 6-foot, 265 and they’ve actually lost 30 pounds.”

“The young guys are getting reps and doing their part,” explained Vernon. “And as seniors, it’s our job to let them know it’s serious.”

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